Advertising shock tactics are back with the new Corsodyl mouthwash campaign showing a woman losing her teeth.
Sitting in bed, she’s horrified when her teeth fall out into her hand. She wakes and is relieved to find it was a nightmare, but then spits out blood when brushing her teeth. Looking in the bathroom mirror she reveals a gap where her front tooth should be.
The BBC says quite a few viewers complained that the £7.2m campaign, which has been on TV, in cinemas and on transport posters, is unpleasant to watch. That clearly proves it’s worked.
Tapping into anxiety is the oldest and most reliable marketing tool around and this campaign by Grey Advertising on behalf of GlaxoSmith Kline does just that. It follows an ad in 2013 that showed a woman using mascara and ignoring bleeding from her eye, with the message that no one ignores bleeding from any other part of the body, so they shouldn’t ignore spitting blood after brushing their teeth.
And earlier shock tactics in a public service announcement-style campaign saw Corsodyl double sales from £10m to £21m in 2008/9, stretching the otherwise static mouthwash market by 33 per cent. Not a bad return on investment.
It makes you wonder why more dental practices aren’t doing their own version of this. It doesn’t cost millions to play to people’s very real and justifiable fears of losing teeth and looking older. You can produce a really creative press or radio advert for under £1k that does exactly the same thing for your business on a local level.
I used to be an ad exec so I know a bit about this. Get in touch if you’d like to hear some of my ideas.
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